Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bhutan & it's Youths

Children Learning in Class Room

The future of the nation lies in the hands of our younger generation”.

- His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck of Bhutan

Bhutan is a nation currently undergoing a state of transition from age old traditions to modernization and witnessing unprecedented economic and political reforms. Modernization and the introduction of mass media have also caused a significant change in Bhutan’s youth culture. Bhutanese youth have the unique challenge to balance modernization with traditions.

Based on Bhutan’s current labour market structure, the most labour absorbing sectors are agriculture and construction sector. However, Bhutanese youths are generally reluctant to accept employment that is rural based and manual intensive.
While there have been many proposed policies to alleviate youth unemployment situation in Bhutan, such as the provision for developing the tertiary educations and vocational training and sending our youths abroad to work among others. Our government is already doing a lot to maintain 0% unemployment among the youths. I think the other option available for us at the moment is to advocate the importance of self employment through entrepreneurship to our youths who are desperately looking for employment opportunities.

The reasons for youth unemployment are very complex with factors ranging from demographic and social economics as well as multitude of other factors like demand, supply and preference of white collar jobs as well as mismatch of expectations in skill level between prospective youths and employer.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the youths of Bhutan try to embrace agribusiness as a source of income and livelihood which will result in self employment and eradicate poverty and assist in food security in the country. The Ministry of Agriculture is already doing a lot in terms of assisting our farmers in terms of food production but it should also consider agripreneurship as a source of livelihood among the youths and encourage youths into the agri sector.

If you genuinely care for our future then join this informal discussion tomorrow on the topic "How can Bhutan employ its young workforce meaningfully? Can export labour solve Bhutan's unemployment problems? How can we replace migrant labourers worth around 7 billion ngultrums with local skills?". The Loden Foundation invites you to an informal discussion with Prof Mark Mancall, Dasho Kinley Dorji, Dr Karma Phuntsho and many others at Cafe Italia, 7.30pm, Friday, 21 March, 2014.

On that note, i would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy International Happy Day. This day is very important to Bhutan because inspired by Bhutan Guiding Development Principle "Gross National Happiness" and our King's vision of "Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product", the United Nation endorsed March 20th as the Happy Day. :)


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